SYDNEY, Oct 7 (AFP): An Australian Christian group has created a version of the Bible in SMS text-speak so church-goers can spread The Word via mobile phone.
The SMS Bible changes the holy book's famous first line to "In da Bginnin God cre8d da heavens & da earth."
Bible Society in Australia scripture director George Rodriguez said the project was a way of bringing the book into the 21st Century.
"We've been careful to stay true to the Bible. We didn't want to alter its message in any way and we never abbreviated any names," Rodriguez told AFP. "The response has been amazing."
Rodriguez said the SMS Bible had proved particularly popular among young people, who regularly communicated with their peers via text messages.
His son Michael was responsible for the project, spending six weeks translating the Bible's 31,173 verses into text messages and then designing software to make it compatible to mobile phones.
"The first ever book to be published on a printing press was the Bible and we're doing the same thing here with text messaging," the elder Rodriguez said.